A person recommending you goes a long, long way. Think about it; how many times have you asked your friends and colleagues about their recommendation on a computer, movie, or book you’re looking into? People ask for advice because when they are making decisions, they want to know from a trusted source what they suggest.
It’s a part of human nature to get your information from a trusted, human source. This is also why infomercials have clips showing people who already use the product and highly recommend it. Ever notice how happy those people are talking about something as boring as a towel? Well, the power of suggestion is an effective marketing tool so by using it in your Buffalo & WNY job search you can greatly increase your chance of landing a job.
The best people you should use as a job reference are past managers, colleagues, distinguished individuals (ie CEO of a well known local company), and one of the greatest references to have is an employee at the hiring company. Chances are you found you were notified of the open position by a contact of yours who works there since 75% of all jobs aren’t even posted so by using this contact as a reference you will greatly increase your chance of getting the job! This contact does not have to be on your official reference list since they will most likely be talking to the recruiter about you anyway, but you can add them if you feel it necessary.
Furthermore, there are always going to be tons of other job applicants applying for the same job as you, and the one’s that have an inside contact are going to be the one’s more heavily favored. This is why it is very important to always be networking and maintaining your network & reference list.